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Companies and Tsinghua work on vehicle communications standardization

By Hao Yan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-16 08:01

Vehicle communication guidelines are set to be published by the end of this year, as wireless communication is now a fundamental technology for intelligent cars. So there needs to be a universal definition and standard.

Carmakers and Tsinghua University recently teamed up to define vehicle communication standards in order to help boost transportation safety and the development of vehicle intelligence. Communication standards are now included as part of the upcoming China Intelligent and Connected Vehicles Technology Roadmap.

"The development of vehicle intelligence requires the technologies of big data, cloud computing, and vehicle-to-vehicle communication," said Li Keqiang, director of the automotive engineering department at Tsinghua University.

A group was founded in October and is led by Tsinghua University, General Motors Co and Chang'an Automobile Ltd. Supported by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China, the group will exchange standards for vehicle-to-everything communication, or V2X, and complete a definition and demand analysis.

Industry insiders hope the group's work may help accelerate the application of intelligent transportation systems on a larger scale to prevent transportation accidents.

Yao Danya, professor of automation at Tsinghua University, said: "The focus of V2X communication is on improving transportation safety and easing traffic congestion."

Yao suggested that "China may accelerate the deployment of the technology, as long as local governments initiate the necessary infrastructure upgrades at high-incidence spots of traffic accidents."

V2X communications include vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-pedestrian communications, and the technology supports Intersection Collision Alert and Emergency Brake Alert.

The deployment of V2X communications may elevate the overall efficiency of the nation's transportation by 30 percent, according to SAE-China's prediction. The United States' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated the technology could help avoid 81 percent of traffic light accidents in the country.

V2X communication is the vehicles' language, so a complete set of communication standards is necessary for underpinning an intelligent transportation system using intelligent and connected vehicles.

Vehicle intelligence is based on the real-time calculation of big data collected by sensors and radars in the vehicle. The current solution uses a combination of an in-car computer and a cloud computing system.

The computer in the car reacts instantly to emergent safety threats. A lot more traffic information is uploaded through wireless connections to a cloud server for further processing, and the results are downloaded to command the vehicle.

The solution requires fast wireless connections to transmit big data in a flash and powerful enough servers to process the information in a brief period.

Gong Weijie, deputy secretary general of SAE-China, said: "The challenges to the intelligent vehicles' communication technologies are in the coordination among varied government bodies, including the Ministry of Transport, and the trans-industrial synergy among the mobile communication operators and equipment suppliers."

Carmakers have to join with communications operators and internet service providers. The State-controlled mobile operators are working on 5G mobile communication networks to fix the bandwidth bottleneck for data exchange.

The 5G data transmission, 100 times faster than 4G, is capable of transferring more data within a shorter period of time, and 1 million access points are planned to be built in each square kilometer, making V2X communication possible, according to China Mobile.

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